0 comments December 17, 2008


Montreal seems to have more than its fair share of angel-voiced men making dreamy, melodic indie pop (Patrick Watson, Alexandre Desilets, and Karkwa to name but a few).

You can go ahead and add Éléphantine to that list.

Like the aforementioned bands, Éléphantine are literate and assured, creating atmospheric, textured and emotionally intense songs.

So far they've put out just one EP, entitled Sous le règne des lampadaires. It's a slow burner, full of yearning and beautifully layered melodies.

If this is the entrée, I'm more than ready for the main! Luckily, the band are slated to release a full length album in the winter of 2009.

Here's a taste for now, then:

Éléphantine - "Un attente d'un moment présent"

[Éléphantine - MySpace] [Buy Éléphantine's music - Blue Tracks]

0 comments December 14, 2008

Sebastien Granger, Tegan and Sara, Starfucker, Vive La Fête

(Clockwise from top left:) Sebastien Grainger, Tegan and Sara, Starfucker, Vive La Fête

When the whole world has turned into one giant, dirty, brown slushy what better way to kick off the week than with a playlist of guilty favourites?

Here they are, then, some old, some new, some borrowed, some blue:

Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains - "Ways to come home"

Sebastien Grainger was one half of the now disbanded Death From Above 1979. He's since struck out on his own and tours under the moniker Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains. I love the driving rhythm and the melodramatic vocals on this track, which comes from American Names EP. The song reminds me very much of Broken Social Scene, so now I think of it as having a quintessential Canadian sound. Which is rubbish, of course, because there is no "quintessential Canadian sound", but there you go.

Tegan and Sara - "You wouldn't like me"

More catchy than herpes (okay, yes, that's gross. So let's just say: very, very catchy). Listen to this a couple of times, crank it up, and then try and resist singing along loudly (while playing air guitar). I think it may actually be humanly impossible to hear this and not want to sing along. Go on, then, try it. I dare you.

Starfucker - "Rawnald Gregory Erikson The Second"

This song makes me very happy.

That is all.

Vive La Fête - "Noir Désir"

The chronicle of a messed up, twisted love affair from Belgian couple Danny Mommens and Els Pynoo, otherwise known as Vive La Fête.

Messy. Neurotic. Twisted.

Play it loud.

[Sebastien Granger and the Mountains - MySpace] [Tegan and Sara - MySpace] [Starfucker - MySpace] [Vive La Fête - MySpace]

0 comments December 9, 2008

Snow flake

Photo by Jodi Corbett

It's been snowing here for over 12 hours straight now.

A trip from downtown to home, which ordinarily takes around 20 minutes in the car, took us nearly two hours tonight.

It's beautiful out there, though. Quiet. Big, soft flakes suspended in yellow haloes around the street lights.

Here's a song, then, for watching the snow fall. Preferably from some place warm and snug.

[Silence - Jamendo]

0 comments December 7, 2008

James Bond - Daniel Craig

I saw the new James Bond movie this weekend. And I can quite honestly say I don't remember a single thing about it.

Oh -- other than the theme music, that is.

Now, I don't usually make a habit of caring about the theme music for the latest James Bond flick.

But "Another Way to Die" had me at the get go.

From the very first opening bars I was prompted to sit up a little straighter in my seat. "Who’s this?" I thought. And, "What’s going on here?" The song has the requisite Bond sound: orchestral and menacing. But suddenly, right before your very ears, it's tackled head-on and wrestled to the ground by towering White Stripes power chords, all the while being wooed and severely compromised (but in the most delightful way) by hip hop vocal stylings.

It's all wrong. But somehow, so right -- a monstrous slab of genre-busting awesomeness.

Too bad the movie itself couldn't live up to that heady opening.

And it is a shame, because I loved Casino Royale (not having been much of a Bond fan before that). Daniel Craig is a very physical actor. Or, to put it another way: he is intensely physically present as an actor. He lends his Bond an explosive, feral quality that is really quite -- how shall I say? -- beguiling.

This latest Bond vehicle unfortunately manages to entirely squander his brilliance. The film has been edited to within an inch of its life, leaving us stranded in a morass of confusingly murky, choppy fight scenes, car chases and explosions. And, just to add insult to injury, there is nary an emotional payoff -- nor flashy gadget -- in sight. Quelle horreur.

[James Bond - Quantum of Solace official website] [Jack White and Alicia Keys - MySpace Video]